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Child Protection Employment Program (CPEP)

Applications for the 2024 Child Protection Employment Program have now closed.

Applications for the 2025 Child Protection Employment Program (CPEP) will open mid-year, around June and will be advertised on this website.

The Child Protection Employment Program (CPEP) is a paid employment program where you experience what it is like to work in child protection. CPEP (formerly the vacation employment program – VAC), has been running since 2015.

Program participants work in a structured and supportive learning environment alongside experienced practitioners.

The work in child protection is varied. A typical day may involve:

  • supervising access visits between children and their families
  • transporting children to services and visits
  • supporting the provision of in-home support to families
  • documenting case notes under the direction of an experienced practitioner.

Upon successful completion of the program and obtaining qualifications, participants are eligible to progress into an entry level qualified Child Protection Practitioner.

Contact hours

  • 12 weeks full time (5 days, 38 hours per week)
  • 16 weeks part time (3 or 4 days per week)


The VAC program was an incredibly valuable experience in understanding social work within a statutory framework. The opportunity to experience, learn and work in each phase helped me emerge as a new practitioner.

Christine - Advanced Child Protection Practitioner - West Division

The VAC program gives graduates a complete and realistic understanding of the child protection practitioner role. I got to experience different roles and responsibilities and gained the skillset to successfully start my career as a Child Protection Practitioner.

Maanya - Child Protection Practitioner – East Division 

The VAC program gave me a ringside seat to the stressful, emotional and sometimes difficult work that the amazing practitioners do. I consider the VAC to be the ideal start to this career.

Peter - Child Protection Practitioner – West Division